This post is written by Shawn Mazelin.
Last week, I was talking with a group of moms about Christmas. The conversation went something like this:
“I just can’t afford Christmas this year,” one mom mourned.
“I know what you mean,” another sighed. “When I grew up, we had hundreds of gifts under the tree. Now I can’t seem to afford anything. Thank goodness for credit cards!”
I sat back and just listened to them talk for a few minutes. The conversation continued with the focus on the amount of gifts given, the cost of each item, and how much running from place to place they had to do to make this a successful Christmas. I understood—I’d been there.
Maybe some of what I shared with them would be helpful to you, too.
When I ponder the birth of Christ and all He came to do for us, I am humbled beyond belief. Instead of spending a lot of money to celebrate Christ’s birth, our family tries to create meaningful memories. Some of our favorite traditions include making hot cocoa and popcorn for everyone and packing into the car to look at Christmas lights. We also enjoy ice-skating on Christmas Eve at an outdoor rink before attending the Christmas Eve Service at our church.
The following day, we celebrate Christmas with a birthday cake for Jesus. To help us remember His Story, we make a chocolate cake representing the dark sin we have been saved from. We use red lettering for the blood that He shed on top of white frosting signifying His forgiveness. We finish it all off with yellow flowers and green leaves pointing to heaven and new life.
To help get our eyes off of ourselves and on to others, we like to give to another family in need. This year, we have decided to serve at a local homeless shelter to make their Christmas a little brighter.
Since Jesus received three gifts from the wise men, we choose to give three gifts to each of our children: something they need, something they really want, and something that points them to Christ (like a CD, a book, or perfume to remind them that they are a sweet aroma of Christ).
What are some ways you celebrate Christ’s birth? How do you keep the meaning of Christmas central in your celebration?